This rare French barometer is from the Louis XVI period, circa 1780. The giltwood barometer is topped with a crown of laurel leaves surrounding a stylized globe medallion. Husks of laurel leaves tied with ribbons encircle most of the glass covered face, and a rectangular block that is adorned with more laurel leaf husks extends downward from the bottom of the face. The molding around the glass is beaded and stepped.
The paper face has various weather conditions ranging from tres sec (“very dry”) to tempete (“storm”). Two iron arrows extend from the centrally located compass starburst. The top of the paper says Barometre, while the bottom says Selon Toricelli.
Evangelista Torricelli was an Italian physicist/mathematician who studied under Galileo. Torricelli has been credited with inventing the barometer around 1644, after observing mercury suspended in a vacuum tube. They would measure the atmospheric pressure, thus indicating changes in weather.
In their time, these remarkable barometers were technological wonders and highly sought after by wealthy families. As the 19th century progressed, these works of art began to decorate the walls of hundreds of Chateaux as well as middle class homes throughout France and England. Today, this late 18th century French barometer will once again bring a touch of the classic and restrained Louis XVI style to any wall.
CONDITION: Good antique condition with old and recent restorations. Minor losses to wood and recent touch ups of gilding.